Campaign Finance & Election
Campaigns should be open and free, not prone to manipulation through government financing schemes. And now the U.S. Supreme Court agrees.
Before the 2000 election, in a briefing about the new Clean Elections law, state Elections Director Jessica Funkhouser gave the treasurers of Arizona political campaigns this tongue-in-cheek advice: "Go back to campaign headquarters and trick somebody else into doing the job."
Two years later, the tangle of legal and regulatory red tape surrounding political elections has already snared at least 11 candidates. By my last count, six candidates have been cited by the Clean Elections Commission and five more face complaints.
Phoenix, AZ-The Goldwater Institute has received notice from the campaigns of Republican Betsey Bayless, Democrat Mike Newcomb, and Democrat Mark Osterloh that their candidates will appear in Tucson for the gubernatorial candidate forum co-hosted by the Institute and the Tucson Citizen. The Goldwater Institute has received notice from the campaign of Democrat Janet Napolitano that the Attorney General will not attend. She is the only gubernatorial candidate to turn down the opportunity to meet and discuss issues at the Tucson forum.
Phoenix, AZ--The Goldwater Institute has received notice from the campaigns of Libertarian Gary Fallon, Independent Richard Mahoney, and Republican Carol Springer that their candidates will appear in Tucson on August 20, 2002, for the gubernatorial candidate forum co-hosted by the Institute and the Tucson Citizen.
The Institute has yet to hear affirmative responses from the following candidates:
Phoenix, AZ-The Goldwater Institute has received notice from the campaigns of Democrat Alfredo Gutierrez, Libertarian Barry Hess, and Republican Matt Salmon that their candidates will appear in Tucson on August 20, 2002, for the gubernatorial candidate forum co-hosted by the Institute and the Tucson Citizen.
Phoenix, AZ-The Goldwater Institute and the Tucson Citizen have announced the date for a gubernatorial candidate forum in Tucson. The event will take place the evening of Tuesday, August 20, 2002, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Marriott University Park, 880 East Second Street.
Phoenix, AZ-On Monday, February 18, supporters of Arizona's Clean Elections law will rally at the Capitol in support of public subsidies for politicians. Clean Elections' supporters say public subsidies clean up the political process, yet Goldwater scholar Robert Franciosi finds that, rather than "cleaning up" politics, the Clean Elections Act has taken democracy to the cleaners.
In 1998, Arizona voters passed the Citizens Clean Elections Act. Its purpose was to eliminate the alleged deleterious effect of private money on state politics: the influence of private contributions on elected officials and the advantages enjoyed by candidates with large campaign chests. The Citizens Clean Elections Act established an optional system of public campaign finance for those people seeking state offices. Candidates may forswear private contributions and in return receive public subsidies for their campaigns. The money for the subsidies comes from compulsory and noncompulsory sources.
Thomas Jefferson said there is "no safer depository of the ultimate power of society but the people themselves." Initiative and referendum is the means by which ultimate political power is retained by the citizens. It is a reminder that in our republican form of government nothing is more sacred than the right and freedom to govern ourselves. In its purest form is a powerful tool for defending liberty and restraining tyranny.